I’m in Rome to research the aspects of life and how the city looked and how its changed since the period of 1860 to 1920 and now. This research is for certain chapters of the supernatural thriller DISOBEDIENCE, which I plan to publish some time in 2016.
I’ve been to Rome, perhaps, fifty times, but in the past I wasn’t looking at the city as a writer might see it. From 1994 until 2000, I was both managing and acting as physicist & principle investigator (which is a formal name for the lead scientist) for a project for the Italian Space Agency, called The Matera Laser Ranging Observatory.
The company I worked for at the time (AlliedSignal) had a contract to develop an astronomical observatory that was equipped with an advanced (best in the world at the time) laser measurement system, used for tectonic plate motion measurements, precise orbit determination for satellites, and could also support measurements of targets left on the moon during the Apollo program to support lunar science and experiments for relativity’s principle of equivalence. IN the year 200, I spent around 9 months in Italy since we were integrating the system with the facility and performing acceptance testing. The system had been developed in the US.
I’ve visited Italy almost every year since 1994, and sometime for extended periods, as in 2000, but now I no longer work as a physicist. I’m a full time writer and I’m looking at Rome with different eyes.
DISOBEDIENCE takes place mostly in modern Baltimore, but there are elements to the book that happen in Rome during two different periods and in area of Provence France, which I plan to visit later this year or next year.
The book takes its title from the opening verses of John Milton’s Paradise Lost.